36 Hours in San Juan, Puerto Rico: Issues to Do and See


8:30 a.m. Stroll on the avenue by the ocean

Get pleasure from an espresso ($1.50) with a contemporary mallorca pastry (a spiral candy bun; $3.50) at Sobao, an indoor-outdoor cafe on the AC Lodge by Marriott, then stroll alongside Avenida Ashford till you attain a small park referred to as Ventanas al Mar (Home windows to the Sea), which has a path that results in the seashore. It’s packed, primarily with lodge company, however anybody could hire a chair for $5 and an umbrella for $10. (All seashores in Puerto Rico are public, even these claimed by inns.) Within the foyer of the Condado Vanderbilt lodge subsequent door take a look at Wild Aspect, a boutique that carries superb beachwear and sculptural jewellery in gold and silver by the Puerto Rican artist María Blondet.

11 a.m. Immerse your self within the nice artwork of Puerto Rico

The Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, in a neo-Classical constructing in Santurce, a middle of the humanities and nightlife, displays the most important works of artists from totally different generations, durations and media (entry, $12). Take up the haunting self-portrait “Azabache,” by the Puerto Rican painter Arnaldo Roche Rabell. Stroll to a different corridor to search out “No Crying within the Barber Store,” a room-size set up depicting a Bronx barbershop, by the Puerto Rican artist Pepon Osorio, exploring the Latino tradition’s machismo. Earlier than leaving the museum, go to the quiet sculpture backyard and cease by La Tienda, the museum store, which shares regionally made works just like the brightly coloured tiles depicting a nonetheless lifetime of crimson flowers, by Susana López Castells ($40).

1:30 p.m. Get pleasure from an expansive Castilian comida

Bodegas Compostela, within the Condado neighborhood, is a fixture amongst San Juan’s high-end eating places, with a traditional, understated eating room favored for household gatherings, birthdays and enterprise lunches. Begin with the Galician-style octopus, cooked with olive oil, paprika and potatoes ($23.95), and observe it with the roast suckling pig, with crackling pores and skin and juicy meat ($74.95), and a wealthy chocolate soufflé ($15.95) for dessert. If all that appears an excessive amount of, order the contemporary and lightweight lobster salad ($42.95). Compostela can be recognized for its superb wines. Attempt Attis, an albariño from Spain, $51.95 a bottle. Reservations really useful.

3:30 p.m. Search for at a avenue splashed with coloration

Calle Cerra, not way back a avenue of rundown buildings and deserted retailers, is now a hotbed of nightlife and the middle of the island’s city artwork motion. Stroll to absorb the road artwork, a lot of it exploring political and social points. An imposing mural painted on a water tower exhibits a boy carrying a glacier on his again whereas the ice melts round him. A building-wide mural of three skeletons sinking within the sea symbolizes colonialism and slavery. On the finish of 1 block, a pinkish high-rise, coated from floor to roof with graffiti, murals, swirls and scrawls, appears to be like deserted. Individuals dwell in it. On the prime of the strip, take a break at Café con Cé with an iced latte ($4.50) and a vegan pastry ($4).

7 p.m. Style the roots of Puerto Rican delicacies

Dine within the open patio at Cocina al Fondo, a restaurant in Santurce, whose chef, Natalia Vallejo, final yr grew to become the primary Puerto Rican to win a 2023 James Beard Award for Finest Chef: South. Attempt conventional favorites like pastelillos de calabaza (pumpkin fritters, $15) and jarrete de cerdo al caldero (ham hock with rice and beans and ripe plantain; $42), acquainted dishes made with an area, farm-to-table ethos. Reservations really useful.

9:30 p.m. Embrace the chinchorreo

After dinner at Cocina al Fondo, wander again to Calle Cerra, which attracts bar-hoppers to its cocktail golf equipment and salons till the wee hours. Younger crowds collect at Botánico, the place a large mural of a face overlooks an open-air dance ground. Farther down the road, the place chickens roam free and an outdated church stands on a nook, are a number of extra bars, together with Machete, Graziani and Galeria, and the loopy chinchorreo — what locals name the road dancing-and-drinking scene — is commonly centered on Esquina Watusi, an iconic dive bar. After the hubbub of Cerra, stroll or take a taxi to the secluded tapas bar Primitivo, within the Miramar neighborhood close by. Pattern the nigiri, a slice of tuna set over a tiny alcapurria fritter, a Puerto Rican favourite ($14), and sip a silky Negroni ($15).

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